The actor says it's time for Michael B. Jordan to "carry the mantle" for a new generation of fans. But Dolph Lundgren isn't so sure.
Sylvester Stallone's Rocky is retiring -- "probably" -- the actor said in an emotional video posted Wednesday.
More than 820,000 people have watched the Instagram video as of Thursday morning. Stallone and Michael B. Jordan, who plays Apollo Creed's son in the Rocky movie franchise, stand around a fire as Stallone gives what seems to be a retirement speech.
"Well, this is probably my last rodeo," Stallone says, admitting he thought the Rocky series ended in 2006, until he met Johnson and plans began to continue the saga. Creed II came out this month as a sequel to Creed, which introduced the new characters in 2016.
"(The Rocky saga) went on to a new generation," Stallone notes. "New problems. New adventures. And I couldn't be happier, because as I step back, as my story has been told, there's a whole new world that's gonna be opening up, for the audience, for this generation." He then hugged Jordan and told him, "Now YOU have to carry the mantle."
Stallone also said, "the most wonderful thing of all is that ROCKY will never die because he lives on in you."
That sounds final, but don't rule out future appearances for Rocky in Creed films -- fans know the boxer was seldom down for the count. Even his onscreen opponent Dolph Lundgren, who played Ivan Drago, doesn't think Rocky's ready for the retirement home.
I've heard that before," Lundgren said on Good Morning Britain on Thursday. "I don't really believe it, but we'll see."
The video was so well-received that on Thursday, Stallone posted again. "Yo, due to the overwhelming and loving response to this wonderful character I just want to say one last final farewell," he wrote. "Thank you again (from) the bottom of our hearts ..."
Whether or not Rocky is hanging up the gloves, another character isn't finished. In October, Stallone revealed that his John Rambo character will be going cowboy in Rambo 5. No date for that film has been announced.
First published, Nov. 28, 11:24 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:26 p.m. PT: Adds Dolph Lundgren comment.
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